Natasha Smith - Solicitor/Mediator/FDRP
I never know what to write for these thing. I started studying law because I thought I would be good at arguing. I wasn’t wrong, but I discovered that I needed other skills as well, the ability to listen, empathise, and to be able negotiate, amongst others.
I have always been the kind of person who spoke my mind, a “straight shooter”. It can be a blessing or a curse. I decided to study law and was admitted into practice in 2010. When I first started I worked in Family Law and Care and Protection. I eventually moved away from Care and Protection and into Family Law, which I have now been practicing ever since. In 2016 I decided I needed more certificates for my Mum’s wall and obtained a Masters in Family Law. I then became interested in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) as an alternative to Court and completed the Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution training, in 2017.
When the opportunity came, I decided to start my own Law and Mediation firm in Port Stephens. I have been told in the past that I have ATTITUDE (both good and bad), so I decided to turn my personality into a positive for my clients.
I don’t have any interests and hobbies outside of work and family, who has time, right? But if I was pressed to answer, it would be sitting around chatting with my friends and family. I am not really sure that hanging out counts as a hobby but let’s just say it is.
* illustration by Jonathan Smith (aged 8)
Malcolm Smith - Mediator/Psychologist/FDRP
Malcolm is the most kind, caring and amazing person which is why I married him. His desire to help and change the world, led him to…. a Bachelor degree in tourism. After the party was finished his mind was made up, he wanted to help people understand their own mental health and behaviour. After slogging it out at Newcastle University, then on through an internship, Malcolm was registered as a Psychologist in 2011.
Malcolm started off in disability since then he has worked around Newcastle, Maitland and the Central Coast in many areas including private practice, disability, NDIS, career counselling and defence.
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution seemed to be a natural progression to his career. During his career he has seen the pressure that his clients were under and saw the breakdown of many families. Now he can combine his knowledge of psychology and mediation to help people unravel their family law disputes. As a psychologist Malcolm is also placed to be able to involve children in the decision making process in suitable matters.
Malcolm is one of those people that can walk into a room by himself and make a dozen friends by the end of the night. He enjoys rides on his motorbike, travel, adrenaline fuelled adventure, and a good whisky nightcap.
Oh and make sure you tell him how great Dr Phil is. He love that. (*wicked laugh)
* illustration by Jonathan Smith (aged 7)